A few days back, we released news that Nissan was considering a variety of different engine options for the new Z car. We were hoping for a hybrid producing over 1,000 horsepower, and apparently, Nissan was listening. Well, half listening, maybe.

Citing the Japanese automotive publication Best Car, Australian website Motoring.co.au is reporting the new Z car (labeled simply as “Z”) will be launched initially as a convertible. Most shockingly, however, is that it’ll come with a hybrid, turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. In total, this powertrain will deliver 247 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The petrol engine will be sourced from Mercedes-Benz, while the electric motor will mount between the engine and transmission to soak up energy during deceleration, boosting power and improving mileage in a fashion similar to Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist system.

“Its main market is the U.S., a market that demands competitively priced convertibles with loads of street cred,” reports the source. “And that is what the next Z will be. Except this time, it’ll offer plenty of power while delivering nearly 20 km per liter [roughly 50 miles per gallon]!”

Thankfully, the source also confirmed a Mercedes-sourced 3.0-liter V-6 for us Americans to enjoy, continuing the six-cylinder tradition we’ve come to expect from the Z. With an additional turbocharged hybrid-four on the option list, Nissan should have a rather robust, sporty convertible on its hands. We can’t wait to see if these rumors will come true.

Click past the jump to read more about the next Nissan Z.

Why it matters

We’re happy about the hybrid drivetrain, especially as a compliment to the quintessential six-cylinder. As sports cars become smaller, lighter, and more efficient, it’s a move that makes a lot of sense. However, there is something troubling us, and it comes in the form of a seven-speed automatic.

Basically, it comes down to this: most of us here at TopSpeed prefer to row our own. As far as we’re concerned, figuring out the right amount of throttle and clutch to get a car moving is like a right of passage. You could call it the first step towards automotive enlightenment. Yeah, it’s a pain in traffic, and starting on a hill can be a little tricky, but we feel like the only way to truly control a car is with a clutch. In an age of fewer and fewer manual transmissions, seeing another sports car go the way of the slush box is just depressing. So please, Nissan, give us a third pedal option! The Z deserves it.

Nissan Z

2009 - 2017 Nissan 370Z High Resolution Exterior
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2013 Nissan 370Z Facelift

Also called the Fairlady, production started in 1969 with the 240Z, one of the most beautiful sports cars ever to come out of Japan. The Z is currently in its sixth generation with the 370Z, which denotes 3.7-liters of displacement for the V-6 engine sitting under the hood (that’s the reason the seventh generation, which will sport a variety of engine options, will simply be called “Z”). The 370Z is available as either a hardtop or roadster, with 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels, which is good enough for a 0-to-60 time under five seconds, a quarter mile run in 13.3 seconds, and a top speed of 155 mph. Either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic are offered for transmission choices, and the interior is nicely appointed with leather-wrapped seats, a Bose audio system, and Bluetooth connectivity. At $29,990 for the hardtop and $41,820 for the roadster, the Z is an affordable sports car with a long history of quickening the pulse and turning heads.

Source: Motoring

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